During the eighteenth century medicine became an autonomous discipline and practice. Surgeons justified themselves as skilled practitioners and set themselves apart from the unspecialized, hack 'barber-surgeons' of early modernity. Medical artists proved themselves not merely mechanical reproducers but skilled masters of an identifiable and valuable genre. Occurring alongside these medical developments was the professionalization of the role of the writer, and the accompanying explosion in print culture and popular readership. The essays in this collection focus on a range of medical narratives: Daniel Defoe and Richard Mead on plague; John Brown's medicine as social paradigm; public perceptions of the King's mental illness. Private narratives cross over into the public sphere, blurring the line between doctor and patient as they share language and experience, as in Frances Burney's account of the mastectomy she underwent without anaesthetic, while Ignatius Sancho's letters suggest how the borders between enslavement and liberation, illness and health, can be contested.
Introduction Part I: Spiritual Sickness and Hypochondria 1 Liberation and Consumption: Disease, imperialism, and the conversion of the heathen in Felicia Hemans, Sigourney and Stowe - Clark Lawlor 2 Freedom, Health and Hypochondria in Ignatius Sancho's Letters - George C Grinnell 3 Uncle-Tommery': Slavery and Romantic Medicine in Thomas Carlyle and Harriet Beecher Stowe - Gavin Budge Part II: Health and Emancipation 4 Due Preparations: Defoe, Dr Mead, and the Threat of Plague - Wayne Wild 5 An Organic Body Politic: Wollstonecraft's Historical and Moral View of the Origin and Progress of the French Revolution and John Brown's Idea of Health - Kimiyo Ogawa 6 Blake, Liberation and Medicine - Richard C Sha 7 Untying the Web of Urizen: William Blake, Nervous Medicine, and the Culture of Feeling - Hisao Ishizuka Part III: Madness 8 "In sickness, despair, and in agony": Imagining the King's Illness, 1788-89 - David Chandler 9 Disembodied Souls and Exemplary Narratives: James Hogg and Popular Medical Literature - Megan Coyer 10 Idiotic Associations: Wordsworth and Nineteenth-Century Discourses on Idiocy - Molly Desjardins Part IV: Anatomized and Aestheticized Bodies 11 Authority and Imposture: William Godwin and the Animal Magnetists - Sharon Ruston 12 George Stubbs' Dissection of the Horse and the Expressiveness of "Facsimiles" - Aris Sarafianos 13 In Submission: Frances Burney's Patient Narrative - James Robert Allard 14 The Surprising Success of Dr Armstrong: Love and Economy in the Eighteenth Century - Susan Matthews Part V: Birth 15 Anna Barbauld's "To a Little Invisible Being...": Maternity in Poetry and Medicine - Tristanne Connolly 16 "Some Heart Once Pregnant with Celestial Fire": Maternal Elegy in Gray and Barbauld - Steve Clark